Seeing how business and hospitality work together.
Today’s blog comes to us from Linda Moxley, owner of Welcome Home Girlfriend. She is the epitome of a welcoming person, and has built her entire business on the idea of hospitality. We can’t think of anyone more qualified to write about this topic! Her personal story and insights about hospitality and being a business owner are inspiring.
Post-it-Notes and scratch paper scattered without purpose around the table. I would put two words together, three words together, rearrange the words… pondering, “… what is going my business name going to be?” It was a major decision that had to be perfect the first time. The name was to reflect my heart and to embrace the customer before I could ever extend my arms. Inner pressure. Fear. Immobilized. Coffee.
After standing up and stretching, I found my favorite mug, and filled her up. I walked back to the table determined to make the decision. I looked at the notes and there it was – two post-it-notes stuck randomly together to declare the name:
“Welcome Home” & “Girlfriend” = Welcome Home Girlfriend.
That said it all, it said it well, and it spoke truth. My heart was to extend arms of hospitality, in an atmosphere that was cozy and make each individual woman feel special. “Welcome Home Girlfriend” was exactly the way I wanted it to begin.
In a practical way, many deliberate, unconscious things are done to let the customer feel a sense of welcome. Because my business is in our home, living and entertaining is constantly taking place and it keeps us on a cutting edge.
First impressions are only given once. For us, that means the front steps swept, fresh flowers in pots, seasonal décor on the Veranda with an accent wreath hanging from the door. Seven wide steps bring guests to the point of greeting while their eyes can scan to and fro. I must be prepared.
Each customer is embraced as a friend. I try to always take the ‘first step’ to meet and greet. They are worth it! (This may not be appropriate in a business setting; however my business is welcoming people home which is an automatic hug.)
After my initial greeting, I begin the welcoming through the senses…
- A fresh scent (always the same so it will be equated with Welcome Home Girlfriend)
- Soft lights in every room
- Quiet piano, harp or classic music
- Aroma of fresh coffee
- Kitchen prepared with a treat
- Little words of welcome signs to enforce guests are of value
- Clean… I have prepared a place for you
Even when I worked in an office with the compact cubicles, I made it ‘welcome’. Part of welcome for me is cozy and inviting! For my little office space I gathered:
- A small lamp
- Pictures that would take you somewhere else
- Items of beauty
- Family pictures
- Snack basket
- Small throw rug
- A little stool that tucked under for guests to sit and chat for a short time
A small cubicle, a large office, or a room in your home, can make a person want to come and just “be” in your created space. True welcoming begins in the heart. Opening your own heart with open arms invites the people to take the next step. Sincerity is what the client will sense and I am sincere when I say…
“Welcome Home Girlfriend”
Linda Moxley had a vision of opening her home to women for many years. When she finally was able to build her dream home, that vision became reality. Now Linda enjoys continually opening her doors to the ladies in this community for times of refreshing, regrouping and relaxation. Welcome Home Girlfriend was established in 2007 to provide women with a venue for holding special events, finding a place to retreat to, and to encourage the community of women in Portland, Oregon and surrounding areas.